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'Hard to Find a Good Script,' Says Clooney

By Amir Talai
Epoch Times New York Staff
Sep 12, 2007

TIFF STAR POWER: Actor George Clooney attends the </i>Michael Clayton</i> press conference during the Toronto International Film Festival 2007 held at the Four Seasons Hotel on Sept. 8 in Toronto, Canada. (Malcolm Taylor/Getty Images)
TIFF STAR POWER: Actor George Clooney attends the Michael Clayton press conference during the Toronto International Film Festival 2007 held at the Four Seasons Hotel on Sept. 8 in Toronto, Canada. (Malcolm Taylor/Getty Images)

TORONTO—Hollywood star George Clooney, while promoting his upcoming film Michael Clayton at the Toronto International Film Festival, spoke of the difficulties of finding a good script in the modern age of the film industry and making sure the script grows into the final film product.

Since leaving the multiple Emmy Award-winning NBC primetime show "ER," the medical drama that launched his career, Clooney has had hit after hit becoming the hottest star in Hollywood, right next to fellow A-List buddy Brad Pitt.

Yet despite these successes, he maintains the view that a quality script is a rare find and something to treasure.

"The truth of the matter is it is really hard to find a good script in Hollywood. You'd think it'd be easy but it isn't." said Clooney.

Clooney went on to praise Michael Clayton and its script.

"This is a great script. You read this script and you say this looks like it is going to be made … it should be made into a movie, and they are not easy to get made in this day and age."

Such difficulties have pushed Clooney into the Executive Producer's chair, to provide the opportunity for green-lighting projects that might not ever be made into films and maintaining the integrity of films and their initial concept an ideals—such as with Michael Clayton.

However, Clooney tried to deflect any major credit associated with film outside of his performance.

"[The] Executive Producer of the film is not producing the film … [The Producers] do the work, they get the money, they put the money together, they day in and day out produce the film which is why if the film wins an Oscar, they win an Oscar. The Executive Producer is to help to knock out the road blocks," said Clooney.

In other cases, Clooney took a pay cut, as such with Michael Clayton, to provide the financial leverage needed to see the film to completion.

"The last eight films, I have been paid for two so … you do the movies you do, the rest of them you do for as little as possible because you want to get the movies made," said Clooney.

Moral Film, Not a Political Film

Despite the influx of many politically charged anti-war films at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, there were not any political statements being made by the somewhat controversial film Michael Clayton.

"It's not really a blue state red state political issue," said first-time director Tony Gilroy, scriptwriter for the Jason Bourne series starring Matt Damon.

"It seems to me it's a moral film as opposed to an ideological film," added Gilroy.

"This is about flawed individuals, one of whom comes to the realization that he is looking for redemption," said Clooney.

George Clooney plays Michael Clayton, a lawyer for one of the largest and most renowned law firms in the world.

His specialty of law, however, is the least prestigious as he performs the "janitorial" legal tasks needed by the firm to clean up potential legal messes associated with clients and in-house attorneys.

Yet, the most recent mess for Clayton seems to be a little too big for his broom.

Also starring in the film are Tilda Swinton ( The Beach, Adaptation ), Academy Award-winner Tom Wilkinson ( In the Bedroom ), and longtime actor/filmmaker Sydney Pollack.

Michael Clayton will be in wide release this fall on October 5th.